ARK gymnastics 1/7/22

Arkansas senior Bailey Lovett celebrates a successful floor routine that secured Hogs’ the victory over Ohio State on Friday.

The No. 11 Arkansas gymnastics team emerged victorious over No. 22 Ohio State on Friday in the team’s first season opening win since 2014.

Arkansas ended the night with a score of 195.450, and Ohio State fell behind at the end with a total score of 195.025. Senior Kennedy Hambrick was the only athlete to compete in the all-around and scored 39.350 for Arkansas.

The meet began for the Gymbacks with sophomore Emma Kelley, daughter of Olympic champion Mary Lou Retton, scoring a 9.800 on vault. The team continued to put up high scores, capped off with Hambrick’s vault that scored 9.825.

The second rotation brought Arkansas to the uneven bars. There were some critical flaws on bars, including graduate senior Sarah Shaffer’s uncharacteristic falls during her routine. With clutch performances from Hambrick and 2021 bar All-American Maggie O’Hara, the Gymbacks were able to get through the rotation with the lead.

The next stop was the beam, where four Gymbacks scored a 9.800 or higher. The rotation was capped off with freshman Makie Sedlacek, in her collegiate debut, whose clean routine earned her a 9.825 and a warm celebration from the entire team.

The final rotation was the floor, where Arkansas ranked among the best in the nation last season. The Gymbacks demonstrated that excellence in Barnhill Arena with clean passes and stuck landings Friday.

As the final two competitors prepared to  perform — Arkansas senior Bailey Lovett on floor and Ohio State’s Hannah Oliveros on beam — the score was tied at 194.625. The meet came to a close with Lovett, who put up a 9.875, one of the highest scores of the meet, securing the victory for the Gymbacks.

Up next, Arkansas will host No. 14 Auburn at 7:30 p.m. Friday. For the first time in program history, the meet will be held at Bud Walton Arena.

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